Pastor Artur Pawlowski, his brother Dawid and Chris Scott of the Whistle Stop Café were all burdened with troubling Soviet-style sanctions by Justice Adam Germain as a result of contempt of court charges stemming from their purported violation of the Rooke order which sought to limit gatherings at the onset of COVID-19.
Included among those sanctions was a constitutionally unthinkable compelled speech mandate. The Pawlowskis and Mr. Scott were forced to read a statement prepared by the justice expressing what he had deemed to be an appropriate position and an admission that the positions espoused by the Pawlowskis and Scott were not in alignment with many specialists and health officials.
Justice Germain’s draconian sanctions also included a baseless travel ban, which also consists of a significant constitutional violation, not to mention the fact that his ruling failed to meaningfully acknowledge the defence's concerns over the extensive and wrongful incarcerations they believe their clients endured.
To learn more about this absurd ruling, to read it for yourself, and to sign our petition calling for Justice Adam Germain to be fired, visit FireTheJudge.com.
While these shocking sanctions were in effect for 44 days and the accused were indeed deprived of their Charter-enshrined rights, good news finally came, in no small part thanks to your donations at SaveArtur.com, with an appeal application being approved.
The Constitution-trampling sanctions were stayed, pending a ruling from the Court of Appeal.
On Tuesday, submissions by Sarah Miller of JSS Barristers on behalf of both Artur and Dawid Pawlowski, and by Chad Williamson and his team on behalf of Chris Scott, were made in the Court of Appeals. It is worth noting the lawyers from the Canadian Civil Liberties Association were also on hand, having applied as interveners against Justice Germain’s ruling. Alberta Health Services lawyers were also present, arguing that the Germain decision should not be overturned.
I was in court live-tweeting all proceedings, so for more details you can check out my embedded tweets here, but in summary AHS conceded that the compelled speech and travel ban sanctions should be dropped, which is a major victory in and of itself. The court will release a decision at a later date, but it seems apparent that everyone in attendance agreed that Justice Germain erred in his sanctions and that some corrective action is necessary.
I spoke with the legal counsels for both Mr. Scott and the Pawlowskis in addition to speaking with Mr. Scott himself to gather their impressions of the day’s proceedings once court wrapped up for the day. The Pawlowskis opted to remain at home for these proceedings.
Once a decision is rendered we will reach out to all parties again for their reactions to ensure you have to most up to date information, in the meantime, consider making a tax receipt eligible donation to help pay for Pastor Artur’s legal fees at SaveArtur.com.